Reports: Baltimore Ravens legend Marshal Yanda to retire
The Baltimore Ravens hit the offseason with some uncertainty around the status of their All-Pro right guard but it appears a decision has been made.
Late last night, news broke in regards to Ravens right guard, Marshal Yanda‘s future. Banks from Barstool tweeted that Marshal Yanda was likely to announce his retirement this week.
So here the Ravens sit just a little over a week away from the beginning of a new league year with a gaping hole at right guard along their offensive line. There are many options in play to fill the void left by Yanda but it first needs to be said that whatever the solution is, the player will not be up to the standard set by the premier right guard in the NFL.
Yanda has been an eight time Pro-Bowl selection and is a two-time first team All-Pro. He has been an anchor on the right side of the Ravens offensive line throughout his entire 13 year career and he could be on his way to Canton to take his place in the NFL Hall of Fame at some point.
While many questioned the validity of the source, Banks has been first in on many other Ravens stories in the past such as the schedule release and the Ravens acquisition of Marcus Peters.
His reports were confirmed this morning when Ravens ESPN beat writer Jamison Hensley sent out the following tweet:
Their are some in-house options to consider as the Ravens now look to replace Yanda. 2019 4th round pick Ben Powers could get the first crack at being the Ravens new right guard. He struggled to see the field in his rookie season but could progress enough to be the favorite for the job entering camp. Also complicating matters is the status of Ravens center, Matt Skura. Skura tore several ligaments in his knee last season which forced undrafted free agent, Patrick Mekari, into the starting lineup.
Mekari could be the solution at right guard yet if Skura is not ready for camp, that option would be off the table. Ravens reserve utility guard James Hurst will be suspended for the first four games of the 2020 season as well so all of a sudden the Ravens are very thin along the offensive line.
The new league year will begin with the NFL’s free agent frenzy in just over a week. The Ravens will gain seven million dollars in salary cap space because of Yanda’s retirement which could help them fill the shoes of the veteran guard. Joe Thuney of the Patriots, Brandon Scherff of the Redskins, and Graham Glasgow of the Lions are all potential free agent options at right guard.
Keep in mind though that the Ravens have Matt Judon‘s free agent situation to consider when shelling out any money as well. The top guards in free agency will likely demand well north of Yanda’s vacated cap hit.
The draft could also be the route the Ravens take to plug the hole at right guard. I wouldn’t expect the Ravens to use their first rounder, pick 28, to fill the void but some possible second and third round options include Cesar Ruiz out of Michigan and Tyler Biadasz out of offensive linemen U… I mean Wisconsin.
Fans are beginning to panic already about this move and to an extent who could blame them. The Ravens are a power running offense built on the bully-ball mentality that Yanda so personified throughout his career. But this is the Baltimore Ravens we are talking about. A well ran organization that likely already factored in this retirement into their offseason plans.
While the Ravens will not find a replacement that is anywhere near Yanda’s league, it is important to note that doesn’t mean the guy they bring in try to do the job will automatically stink. Eric DeCosta has done a fantastic job since taking over the reigns and there’s no reason to believe that he won’t adequately address the new hole along the offensive line.
All in all, this is a major blow to the Ravens but one that they should be able to handle.